A stark shift of mood on Wednesday evening: beginning with the reflective respect of Remembrance Jaw – from its thought-provoking recital of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights by students in a dozen or so languages to the two minutes’ silence and handshaking in silence at the end – and ending with the hilarity of Noises Off. Both say much about the fabric of the community here and its ability to be disciplined when it needs to be – in a collective, communal way in Jaw and in the best tradition of theatrical disciplined teamwork with Noises Off. Farce is intriguing stuff (see Jay Green‘s programme notes) – dead difficult to do well, full of dark undercurrents, and very close to the British heart. In this respect, Noises Off has an iconic status, a bit like Fawlty Towers. So, step up the Bedales cast and crew of 2012. Seeing the cast rehearse a month ago, the sense of a talented, committed and disciplined team determined to use every moment of rehearsal time was as palpable as I have known: they were loving it! The fruit of their labours was wonderful to see: a set of performances where each of the actors was so in control of his or her character’s bountiful chaos that they could unleash with amazing brio and energy. A brilliant achievement too for the lighting/sound operator and stage managers too (Adam O, Ellie W-S, Juliette P, Mim E and George V). They have played now to three full houses and to great acclaim – deservedly so. Bravo!
By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools
Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.